I just ran out of steam! To think I only used to write once a week before the world changed forever. Suppose it’s good to have some sort of record of this strange time. Remember back to Hogmanay and the bells? Every year, we say this is going to be a good one or, more often, this one has to be better than the last! This, we didn’t predict, though. 2020. The year of lockdown and the most beautiful weather! I believe this has been the sunniest May since records began in the 1920s. Nature rejoicing as the most dangerous, destructive, egocentric species is reminded of its place in a bid to restore some humility and reset the balance. Enforced confinement and isolation impel one to look inward and question; to re-evaluate. Perhaps, faced with his own mortality, mankind may now afford Planet Earth – and all who dwell on her – the respect she deserves.
Where is that pulpit?! I see I’ve written Jack Savoretti in my notes. Now, that could easily just be me doodling while daydreaming but there is, actually, a relevance. I follow Jack on Instagram and ten weeks ago, as our freedom was curtailed, he committed to posting his own rendition of one of his favourite songs daily. Big mistake! All very jolly for the first few days; perhaps, the first couple of weeks, even, re-visiting old songs and old memories but … for goodness sake! Eight weeks on and counting? One can only imagine his thoughts as, yet again, he had to learn yet another song on the piano. He did a sterling job, though, and I, for one, looked forward to his choice each day – and the backstory he volunteered before each song. Oh, to be able to sit down at the piano and just play. Anyway, enough about Miss Reckless and the demise of my musical talent … Suffice to say, Jack became weary, as the weeks kept on coming, and his wife must have tired of maintaining the floral display on the mantlepiece. He called a halt to his daily renditions, last Friday, and I can only surmise his relief. I posted every day for…? Yes, I know, too long, before cutting back to four days to allow me the time to continue with my forthcoming bestseller (obvs!). I can assure you, it is a commitment! I liken it to having a job – God forbid! It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing. In fact, quite the opposite. It has been a godsend; my escapism, affording a sense of purpose. However, I have always been a bit of a free spirit, shying away from restrictions of any sort. Those who know me well, know that I hate to be pinned down to a date, in advance, preferring the more spontaneous approach. Surprised I have any friends left? Me, too. So it is that, this week, I went rogue! The very thought that I had a commitment – to myself – to write, daily, felt oppressive and, thus, I resigned that the world would not end without my post. No exclamation mark. That’s the other thing, I am obsessive. If I commit to doing something then I do not renege. I’ve written, before, of how I have a list of tasks in my head, daily, and I have to complete them. Perhaps, then, it all makes sense. In an ideal world, the pages of my diary would always be free to fill as I choose – on the day. In an ideal world …
It’s funny, trying to understand why it is that I fight against any feeling of restriction. Perhaps it is something to do with a former life? Imagine being regressed. Now, that would be truly scary. Something I do believe in, though – a former life. Now, why doesn’t that surprise you?!
Disciplining myself to write, today, I do feel jaded. As Nicola declares that one can, now, drive to exercise, play golf, tennis, fish and meet, outside, with up to eight other people, the joke which is Test & Trace comes into play. Seriously? From one extreme to the other. One minute we are, all, being treated as though devoid of faculties and then, suddenly, the onus is on us! So many reasons to go wrong; so many opportunities to fail. I haven’t the energy to go into them but, quite honestly, I don’t even answer my phone if the number is unknown and I certainly wouldn’t be happy divulging the personal contact details of family or friends to strangers. Irrelevant in the knowledge that the turnaround for test results is longer than the 7 days of self-isolation! I cannot help but feel we are surrounded by idiots …
A dear friend of mine turned 50 yesterday. That dear friend, however, happens to love nothing more than games and any kind of gathering which involves games. By profession, an entertainer, over the past 25 years, he has delighted in forcing my hand at every opportunity. I hate games! So it is that I squirm at the very mention of Zoom. Drinks with the girls on Zoom. Dressing up on Zoom. Games on Zoom. Hideous! Dates in my diary? Under duress! How can it be, then, that I have been issued with a code, a password, a character synopsis and the instruction to key onto that very site – this coming Sunday at 8.30pm precisely – in order to take part in a Murder Mystery fiasco – I mean, celebration?! Why? Set in the 1920s, my character is a fanatical tennis player who loves nothing more than a wee tipple and I must, repeatedly, swing my racket, throughout, whilst bouncing an imaginary ball and becoming increasingly inebriated as the evening progresses. I repeat, why? I mean, I have known him for 25 years, couldn’t he have made it a little easier for me by choosing a character a little more appropriate? Must think I’m a good actor!
So it is that I have a date in my diary for Zoom! Can somebody please check if the world is still round?
‘After all, one can’t complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before that Rabbit bumped into me and said “Bother!”? The Social Round. Always something going on.’ Eeyore
A. A. Milne
This is Trish, signing off.